Financial Aid has always been a sore topic of conversation. Dealing with money and financial planning is stressful, and many students were voicing concerns about the advising and processing systems of the Financial Aid office at our school. Columbia Student Advising undertook a massive, and effective, reform last year in response to student feedback. Student council believed it was time for the Financial Aid Office to undergo a similar holistic review.

After several conversations with the Dean of Financial Aid, Dean Schaffler, and the Dean of Student Affairs, Dean Schollenberger, what began as a student led project became an SDA/Financial Aid Office funded initiative to thoroughly review and reform the Financial Aid Office through a multi-step, semester long plan. The plan has 3 phases: a) Discussion groups of 5-10 students led by the Dean of Financial Aid to lend an ear to student experiences 2) A SEAS/CC wide survey to get quantifiable data  3) Focus groups led by an outside, objective contractor. We have just begun phase 1 and the response has been INCREDIBLE! If you are interested in attending a lunch, please sign up here: Group Discussions.

Your support in this initiative is crucial! If you have ANY input regarding suggestions for the financial aid office please e-mail me at [email protected]